Westminster Men’s Basketball Opens 2020 with Win Over Principia

Westminster Men’s Basketball Opens 2020 with Win Over Principia

FULTON, Mo. – The Westminster men's basketball team defeated Principia 94-12 on Saturday afternoon to improve to 3-1 in SLIAC play and 4-6 overall. 

The Blue Jays opened the game with an 8-0 run thanks to five points from Emil Spriggs and a three-pointer by Ethan Thompson. Jaxon Althaus extended the Westminster lead to 19-9 with a three-pointer with 14:47 to go in the first half. Two made free throws by the Panthers brought the lead back to a single digit. The Blue Jays would continue to hold a single-digit lead until Altahus made a layup while being fouled and hit the corresponding free throw to make the score 37-27 with 7:27 remaining in the half.

Following his free throw, Altahus intercepted a Principia pass and dunked the ball to give the Blue Jays a 12 point lead. Steph Campbell then made two free throws to give the Blue Jays a 41-27 with just under seven minutes left in the half. In the final two minutes of the half, the Panthers added seven points and the Blue Jays went into halftime holding a narrow 49-45 lead.

The Panthers cut the lead down to just two points with an 11-5 run to open the second half. However, four points from Althaus off a dunk and two free throws helped give the Blue Jays breathing room before the Panthers made a jump shot to cut the lead to four points. The Blue Jays then scored 10 unanswered points off three-pointers from Thompson and Spriggs, an Althaus jumper and a layup by Landon Harrison to take a 14 point lead with just under 13 minutes left in the game. The Panthers responded with a 10-0 run of their own over the next two minutes to cut the score to 68-64.

Two layups and a free throw from Althaus gave the Blue Jays a 73-64 lead with 7:40 to go. The Panthers battled hard but could not match the Blue Jay offense lead by Althaus, Thompson, and Harrison. The Blue Jays continued to outpace the Panthers over the final seven-plus minutes of the half to win the game 94-81.

Althaus (15 points) and Thompson (13 points) each scored in the double figures in the half to lead to Blue Jays to their third consecutive win.

Althaus led all players with 25 points and also contributed seven rebounds and four blocks. Thompson shot 5-7 from behind the arc to finish with 21 points.

Harrison (13 points) and Spriggs (11 points) also scored in double figures from the Blue Jays. In addition to his 11 points, Spriggs also recorded five rebounds and dished out five assists.

Next up the Blue Jays will host Blackburn on Wednesday night.